Whether you’re a DFS (Digital Fantasy Sports) player or just a regular basketball fan, you’ll want to find out how to watch NBA live streams – preferably for free. After all, this is indeed the hallowed American men's professional basketball league.
So how do we watch such games without purchasing a horribly overpriced NBA League Pass membership? Fret not, free sites for streaming NBA matches do exist, but getting to them can sometimes be a little complicated.
1. Stream2Watch Live NBA Streams
Stream2watch is a very popular NBA live stream site that provides free access to many televised events. However, it spreads focus among multiple sports including NBA games, Hockey, Baseball, Soccer, Football, and Tennis. So, if you’re interested in any of these, this could be the site for you.
This website works on mobile and desktop devices; it’s completely free without any limitations. It offers high-quality HD live sports streaming. The overall quality including the audio is good especially given that this is a free site. Having said this, nothing comes absolutely free as you’ll be bombarded by Ads. You can manually close them or use an Ad Blocker.
Multiple streams are available for popular events, so availability is seldom an issue. Stream2watch has also implemented a live group chat functionality that allows its users to chat with one another when watching live events from all around the world.
The chat supports intelligent auto-moderation to help keep spammers and vulgar people from ruining the experience. Although this website claims to be legal, this remains in the grey area. In general, a good and decent site where you can watch your favorite NBA games for free.
2. Crackstreams NBA Channel
NBA CrackStreams is a free sports live streaming website. It is a website that organizes live streams of the biggest and latest sporting events. Being an easy-to-navigate platform, this is where you can find plenty of sports events free of charge. You can watch various sports ranging from NBA, NFL, UFC tournaments, MMA, and boxing matches.
The great thing is that you don’t need to enter any of your information to watch the free streams. Click on the sports NBA streams you want, and head to a “Live Streams and Schedule” page. Choose the game you wish to watch and click “Watch Now.” Another page opens on your browser with a screen. Click the Play icon in the middle of the screen and wait for the video to load.
The stream and site quality leaves much to be desired, but in all fairness, this is still a straightforward and easy-to-use site. The site keeps the stream links up-to-date, which is good. But, if you’re expecting the highest-quality experience, you may be disappointed.
As far as stream quality goes, you can expect it to be somewhat inconsistent. Sometimes everything will be pitch-perfect. At other times it may freeze, get laggy, or buffer.
The biggest problem is the constant deluge of popup ads once you click on a stream link. If you click on a link and it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, close the spam link and try again.
Visit Crackstreams NBA Channel
BuffStreams is also another top-rated HD stream for NBA games. Aside from basketball games, you can also watch NFL, MMA, and Boxing streams. Select the video you wish to watch and another page will appear. Click the Play icon and you’ll be directed to another page that states that the video will load in 5s.
If this is your first time accessing, you’ll need to register a FREE account by keying in your email address and password. Even though this is a free access membership account, you’ll still be required to provide your credit card details which I am not particularly comfortable with.
Additionally, there is some buffering encountered with this service which can be a little frustrating as you’ll need to refresh frequently when this happens. At times, the video can freeze but this is still manageable. Pop-Ups appear when you click to watch or on a game so use an Adblocker. The online chat room is one of the best though.
4. NBA Stream
NBA Stream (NBAStream.net) is dedicated to providing live streams of only NBA games. Their layout is pretty neat and organized well based on your favorite teams. You can click on your team and you’ll be directed to another page that will load the video. Click the Play icon and another screen will appear.
If this is your first time accessing, you’ll need to register a FREE account by keying in your email address and password. After which, you’ll be required to provide your credit card details even though this is a free access membership account. Again, you’ll need to ask yourself if you are comfortable with this.
Overall, this is likely a legit site. Having said this, always tread with caution especially when you’re accessing sites that offer free services.
Note: NBA Stream is not the same as the Reddit NBA Streams website. They're both different, although offering similar content. Click here for the NBA Streams website. It's another awesome NBA streaming alternative.
Go to NBA Stream
5. NBABite Live Stream
NBABite is a website that provides links to watch NBA streams for free. It has been around since 2009 and has since become one of the most popular links to watch live NBA streams. Aside from NBA, there is also a wide range of sports videos covering the NFL, NHL, soccer, and more.
There's a good list of streams (apparently compiled by Redditors) supporting each NBA game but what's available depends on your luck. Thankfully I've noticed at least a few high-quality functional streams. These are easy to find since they get tons of “Thank Yous” and quickly bumped up the list to the top.
Video quality varies depending on the stream you choose. The majority seem to be in HD broadcast so you'll want to pay attention to the bitrate instead. Unless you choose an NBA stream that's far down the list it's unlike you'll get any real lemons.
One thing to note is the prevalence of ads but even these are clearly stated before you click the stream link. You can see how many ads to expect once you click the link – though I notice it's not always correct. Adblockers may result in unusable streams, so you'll have to disable yours.
How to Watch NBA Games Online for Free
However, with the right tools, you can access a ton of NBA-streamed games for free. All you need is a VPN and streaming channels that provide free access for watching live NBA games. The list above is the best of what I've found, but keep in mind that these channels often suffer service outages.
If you want to watch NBA online more reliably, then perhaps an official channel or paid service will be a better choice. Streaming services like Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, and DIRECTV NOW all offer comprehensive packages that include access to all of your local channels — including sports networks like ESPN and TNT — as well as national channels like NBCSN, FS1, Fox Sports Regional Networks, and CBS Sports Network.
Sadly, these services can cost from $40-$50 per month and might be unaffordable for some.
Use a VPN to Watch NBA Games Live Stream
Many of the best free sports streaming websites are not available in certain countries and they do come with some limitations. Geo-restriction is usually the first obstacle you need to bypass so you’ll need to use a VPN to access such Geo-Blocked websites.
The VPN is necessary to bypass these geo-restrictions and also to protect yourself in the case you connect to a website that has copyright infringement issues. Free sports streaming sites usually put your privacy at risk and you need an extra layer to protect your privacy.
Once your VPN is on, you will have access to any content online no matter where you are in the world. Your traffic is encrypted and your privacy is also protected. So, you’ll need to get a good and reliable VPN. Then connect to a VPN server located in the country of the sports streaming site that broadcasts the live sports event.
It’ll seem like you are connecting from that very country. It is always best to go for reputable and good VPNs such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark. You’ll have loads of fun cheering for your favorite teams.
Check out our list of Best VPNs you can use to stream NBA live games.
Reducing Buffering and Load Times When Streaming NBA Games Online
When trying to watch NBA live streams there's nothing more frustrating than those moments when you miss the big play because your stream is buffering. Before you start adjusting everything else, first test your Internet connection to see if you're getting what you paid for.
To test your Internet speed, visit a site like Speedtest.net (link in Resources) and click “Begin Test” to see how fast your connection is. You may want to run the test several times at various times of day, as ISPs typically throttle connections during peak traffic hours. If the results are consistently lower than what you're paying for, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for assistance with improving your connection speed.
Other things you can try include;
- Choose a lower video quality setting
- Reset your modem and router
- Upgrade or replace your router
- Change your DNS settings (18.104.22.168 is a good option)
- Use Chrome as your web browser
If you're going to be watching many games, it's a good idea to invest in a decent wireless router. I'm using the Asus AX86U and love it thanks to its Gigabit wireless speeds. However, if you prefer something more budget-friendly, its older cousin the Asus AC86U is also an awesome choice.
The NBA is the most popular professional sports league in the United States. The league has had a huge influence on American culture and society. Many people love basketball, but it can be hard to watch games if you don't have cable or satellite TV. This is where free NBA streams and VPNs come into play.
They are required to bypass such geo-restrictions and also to protect yourself in the case you connect to a website that has copyright infringement issues. Also, you can access all major sports channels from all over the world for free so that you can watch any of your favorite sports and support your team by watching their matches live.